SHOPPING AND STRESS

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SHOPPING AS A SOURCE OF STRESS

There’s five things that can contribute to shopping being your source of stress, lack of planning or impulsive decisions, poor discipline, eny, compulsive shopping disorder, indulgence and addiction, and emotions.

IMPULSIVE DECISIONS  (LACK OF PLANNING)

We shop for  several  reasons, as indicated  above.  Shopping can cause stress if you go to the shop not knowing exactly what you going to buy, ending up buying things that you don’t necessarily need or didn’t plan to buy, especially when you have a limited budget.   When you pick more than what your budget can allow you to purchase.  How many times have you left grocery in the trolley because you don’t have enough money to pay for all of it?  It happens to me sometimes, and I hate it.  Have you ever felt that embarrassment?  Even worse when the cashier press that beep to call the supervisor when some purchases must be reversed because you don’t have the required amount. Have you ever experienced an embarrassment because your card payment is declined?

This kind of embarrassment and stress is really not necessary and can be avoided by planning.  If you don’t create a list of things you need before entering the store you might end up embarrassed or frustrated after your shopping. This may sound meaningless to some people, but it can cause stress for some people depending on the meaning assigned to that situation or pleasure assigned to that purchase.

POOR DISCIPLINE

Inability to control yourself or your children.  Lack of finacial discipline, not being able to stick to plans and poor parental controls may cause stress.  You must always know what to buy, when to buy, and where to buy.  Finances start to be drained when spending becomes uncontrolled.  There’s a difference between need and want, need being what you must have to survive and want being what you desire but can live without.  Buy what you need, and make sure that you can afford it. Shopping on credit is not wise when you can’t manage your debt.   Avoid being highly indebted as this can lead to major depression.

Don’t take young children to the shop if  you have a limited budget.  They don’t understand that and they may embarrass you, yelling at them in public may trigger an undesirable behavior, and that may lead to unhappiness and stress.

ENVY TRIGGERS STRESS

If you buy things driven by envy you are running a risk of experiencing cognitive symptoms. When you see a piece of furniture or a new garment from your neighbor or friend and you press to buy, even though you can’t afford it.. If you inside the store you begin to  look at other people’s trolleys.  Don’t envy other people, the person in front or behind you.  Don’t compare what you have with theirs because you don’t know their responsibilities and how they earn money.  You only know yourself and what you can afford.

COMPULSIVE SHOPPING DISORDER

Compulsive shopping, medically known as Oniomania, is a compulsive desire to shop.  This disorder gives consumers an emotional lift to overcome depression and anxiety, ultimately leading to finance and personal ruin.  It is common to  feel the urge to go shopping when you are highly stressed or frustrated.  This is usually credit purchases, when you buy things that you don’t necessarily need, nor afford, until your credit card is exhausted.  You get the feelings of excitement as you carry your shopping bags.  Avoid compulsive shopping, find other means to relieve stress, such as meditation, yoga, music or exercise.

Compulsive shopping disorder is like gambling, it has the potential to create emotional and financial stress. Watchout for the symptoms, which include buying  in secret, lying about your purchases, shopping alone in order not to explain your purchases to anyone, buying to feel better, and conflicts caused by overexpenditure.

INDULGENCE AND ADDICTION

We all want good things in life.  We want to eat healthy, we want to look good, and we deserve it.  So from time to time you may feel that you deserve to spoil yourself, buy something that you always wanted for sometime.   But  you must avoid overindulgence, where you later feel guilty but defensive about your purchase. We have to accept that we can’t have everything we want in life.  We need to constantly remind ourselves that not everything we want is good for us.

Shopping can be toxic.   You can be addicted to shopping.  The’re people who just enjoy shopping, buying clothes, bags, shoes, linen, lingerie or jewelry. But they may never wear or use these things.   Well if it makes you feel good and you can afford it, I would say go for it.  But it would be a good thing to donate some of the unwanted clothing to charity, helping those who can’t afford can make you feel happy.  There is more pleasure in giving than receiving.  The feeling of living for a purpose is remarkable.

Addiction to shopping may be dangerous if you can’t afford the expenditure, if every time you bought something you regret afterwards. This may cause stress, anxiety and depression.   If you have difficulty in controlling addictive shopping you must seek help.  Don’t go shopping alone.   Find friends or family members to accompany you so that they can question some of your purchases, and thereby limit your expenditure.

SIGNS YOU ARE ADDICTED TO SHOPPING

When your purchases begin to shift from impulsive to compulsive it’s a sign that you might be grappling with a shopping addiction.  You will have many tagged items in your closet, buying things you don’t need, and trying to conceal your shopping habits.  You experience a rush of excitement when you buy, but purchases are followed by feeling of remorse.   You  feel anxious on the days you don’t buy.  People who are vulnerable are those who have an obsession with things like shoes, jewelry or designer bags.

EMOTIONS

People all go shopping on paydays, primarily because they have money to spend, and because of specials.  You can wait two or three days and avoid the frustration of having to stand in a long line. If you have to, or can’t wait for some reasons, please be patient.

PARKING SPACE NIGHTMARE

Finding a parking space can be a nightmare. Some people are impatient and arrogant. It may be easy to lose control of your emotions.   But try not to be one of those people.   Avoid arguments as they may lead to unnecessary anger that may cause stress.  Just continue to drive around until you find a parking space. Avoid parking in a restricted area, ensure that you park your car in a secure area, and ensure that it’s locked before you rush into the store.  Otherwise it may be stolen, and you may experience difficulty in replacing it.   That minute of calmness may save you from this predicament.

LONG QUEUES

When standing in a long line it’s very easy to be irritated.  You will hear bad remarks and labels. Control your emotions, try not to do something that may embarrass you.   People may have a bad impression about you, and this may have a bad impact.  These days people videotape everything, they can do the same to you, and the video may be viral resulting in bad publicity.   You  will have no control of how people chose to interpret your behavior.

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AND STRESS

Christmas shopping  is filled with stress.  This is the revenue driving period for retail.   People rush to the  Malls.  There’s lots of unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and  excessive commitments can cause stress.  Don’t try to have a perfect Christmas and commit yourself to unrealistic expectations from your family and  friends. Resting is very crucial, we tend to be too busy during this period.   Avoid stress with year round Christmas shopping. You can buy and keep present throughout the year.

ONLINE SHOPPING STRESS

Online shopping is supposed to be a game changer and less stressful as people buy in the comfort of their homes, not having to stress about parking or long queues.   However this ìs not the case, according to the report by analysts from Clicktale psychologists.  It reveals that, despite finding offline shopping the most stressful experience, many  consumers still feel  high levels of stress when  navigating ecommerce websites and apps.  While  12% feel  stressed when buying online, 15% go as far as  to say they’ve lost temper when shopping online or on a mobile app, with stress reaching a peak during the checkout process. This caused by  codes failing, mobile apps freezing at the  point of payment, and  slow loading time.

Some of the stress is related to the sizes and delivery times.  The  difference in  sizes around the world is a problem to some consumers who often buy clothes, especially the pants and lingerie, only to findout that they don’t fit.  Retailers are yet to improve on the lead time, and ensure that the delivery times are communicated with the customers.

Amazon and Alibaba are currently working on changing their systems. They are working on a system where the consumer will place an order and items delivered to the consumer before the checkout process, the customer then fit the clothes, and pay only if it fits. They must also develop a security system to mitigate the eminent risk associated with this planned system.

SHOPPING RELIEVE STRESS

We cannot deny the  fact that retail therapy does boost your mood and therefore relieve stress.  When you experience cognitive symptoms you don’t feel good about yourself.  You feel worthless and unwanted, you are easily irritated, and your confidence levels are low, which affects your performance at work.   You totally ignore yourself.   All these factors are good reasons most people decide to  distance themselves from you.

Your withdrawal and poor performance at work may lead to a disciplinary action against you, and ultimately dismissal.  This may totally ruin you.  Retail shopping can prevent all of  this.  All you need is extra income to finance your purchases and be debt free – not  feel remorse after your shopping spree.

Shopping gives an emotional high, getting feelings of  euphoria.  You get the feelings of excitement as you carry your shopping bags, and this makes you feel good about yourself.   It doesn’t end there, not only buying something new  makes you feel good and happy, but wearing it boost your self-confidence.  However this feeling only lasts until you wear your last new garment, meaning that you will need to continue shopping if retail therapy makes your stress  and anxiety go away.

You  will therefore need to work hard and find other means to supplement your income, and  have the buying  power.  Having a buying power improve your life satisfaction. Remember that  buying on credit is not an option because over indebtedness will cause more stress and anxiety.

You have to spend within your budget limit. If you begin to see the signs of compulsive buying or addictive buying disorder, like beginning to buy things that you don’t need or didn’t plan to buy (somethings that you end up not wearing or using) – you must avoid the temptations and bargain hunting.  Leave the credit card at home when you go shopping, and create a shopping list with estimated costs and stick to it when you’re at the store.   Carry only enough cash to buy what you went there for.  If you feel that you are losing the  battle, reach out to a friend or a trusted family member for  help.

2 Comments

  1. I always end up not knowing what to buy once I am inside a Shopping Mall. I go with the intention to buy something that I really need, then once I walk through the Mall I notice other things that I want. When I’m done, I end up forgetting to buy the item I actually went to the mall for. 

    I am indeed unable to stick to a plan on what to shop for. Sometimes I stress when I get to a Mall and I cannot buy something because it wasn’t what I budgeted on buying. 

    Sometimes I walk out of the mall with nothing, because its too much stress thinking about the things I want to buy when there is perhaps a sale, but I cannot afford it at that moment. sometimes shopping is really overwhelming.

    But overall, thank you for this post and all the best.

    1. Thank you Aabidah for reading my articles. I really appreciate it.   Always make sure you create a list of things you need before entering the store. 

      Be blessed. 

      Sandikazi 

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